Brian A. Federici, ESA Fellow (2009)

Brian A. Federici, is distinguished professor of entomology at the University of California, Riverside (UCR), and was elected as Fellow in 2009. He is internationally recognized for his research on pathogens of insects, specifically for studies on their basic pathology, molecular biology, and development as biological insecticides.

Federici was born in Paterson, New Jersey, in 1943 and attended Rutgers University receiving his B.S. in 1966. At Rutgers he became interested in medical entomology, and went on to the University of Florida, Gainesville, receiving an M.S. in medical entomology in 1967 and Ph.D. in medical entomology/insect pathology in 1970. He then was a postdoctoral fellow at the Boyce Thompson Institute in Yonkers, NY, and in 1974 accepted a position as assistant professor of entomology at UCR.

Federici’s laboratory focuses on understanding how insect-specific pathogens attack, develop in, and kill insects, and application of this knowledge for insect pest control. Currently, the major emphasis of his laboratory is on Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), where his group is studying insecticidal protein synthesis, and genetically engineering novel protein combinations for use as bacterial insecticides, especially for mosquito control. Federici has been at UCR for more than 37 years, and is a prolific author, with more than 200 published scientific papers.

Federici has been an invited speaker in countries around the world and at various scientific events including the Asia-Pacific Conference on Agricultural Biotechnology, the 14th International Plant Protection Congress, the International Conference on Emerging Technologies in IPM, and the Symposium on Managing Insecticide Resistance to Insecticidal Transgenic Crops at the 21st International Congress of Entomology. In addition, Federici has received many awards for his teaching and research, including the ESA Pacific Branch Distinguished Teaching Award in 1990 and 1991, the ESA Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching in 1991, a USDA Secretary Individual Honor Research Award in 2003, the ESA Pacific Branch C. W. Woodworth Award in 2008, and both the Distinguished Teaching Award and Distinguished Research Award from the UCR Academic Senate. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

In 2000, Federici was the Founders' Research Lecturer for the Society for Invertebrate Pathology. He has also served as president of the Society of Invertebrate Pathology. From 1984 to 1996, he was a consultant on insect pathogens for the World Health Organization, and from 1998 to the present, has been a member of scientific advisory panels on Bt for the U.S. EPA. In 2000, he was the organizer of the Inaugural U.S.-China Agricultural Conference: Cooperation for Progress in the 21st Century. From 1998 to 2011, he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Invertebrate Pathology and as a member of the editorial board of Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Many of his graduate students and post-doctoral fellows have gone on to successful careers in academia, industry, and government. Federici is married to Claire (Thomas) Federici and has a daughter, Valery, and son, Christopher. His hobbies include wine, food, travel, classical music, opera, and rock & roll.

(updated September, 2011)